Study Guide

Persepolis Drugs and Alcohol

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Drugs and Alcohol Theme

Different people cope with life's trials in different ways—some tackle them head-on, while some retreat into the virtual world of an MMO. Others, and this is the case with Marjane in Persepolis, turn to drugs and alcohol to avoid confronting their innermost turmoil. When she first meets her new friends in Vienna, Marjane avoids drugs, afraid they will turn her into a vegetable. But the more conflicted she becomes about her identity, the more often she turns to tripping to avoid figuring herself out. Our question is which vegetable best describes what Marjane becomes: eggplant? Rutabaga? Pumpkin squash? It's up to you to decide.

Questions About Drugs and Alcohol

  1. Compare and contrast when and why people drink in Iran with when and why people drink in Vienna.
  2. What prompts Marjane to start using drugs? Why does she stop? Do you think she ever stopped completely?
  3. Why does Marjane smoke? What is the significance of the times when she has a cigarette?
  4. Why does Marjane become a drug dealer? How does this empower her? What are the risks and benefits?

Chew on This

Marjane's drug use doesn't alleviate her identity crisis—it makes it worse by putting it off.

Marjane only relates to many of her friends through their mutual drug use, so when she stops using drugs, she stops having certain friends.

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